On Being Unemployed

I play the scene over and over in my head. It’s the one in the movie “The Incredibles”, where Mr. Incredible (now reduced to being “just” Robert Parr) comes home frustrated with how his life has turned out and the neighbor kid is sitting in his driveway. Mr. Incredible, very irritated, says to the kid, “Well, what are you waiting for?!”, to which the kid responds, “I don’t know. Something amazing, I guess…”

That’s how being unemployed feels like to me. I’m frustrated with my life. I know I can be something big. I know I have a lot to offer any company. But I feel like I’ve been reduced to being “just” Scott. Like I’m not useful anymore. Like I’m waiting for something amazing. I guess.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNX3rRH5ZPM]

Today is the seven month “anniversary” of my position being eliminated from a job I loved. I must admit, this has been the most emasculating experience I have ever been through. Doubt, fear, feelings of failure and inadequacy are constant companions. But, at the same time, there have been some good things. Here is a partial list of what I have learned over the last few months:

  • When in shape, the body of Christ is amazing. I have chronicled on this blog a little about our church search, but we landed at a church earlier this year. It is so obvious that God led us to this church, and this small group, to help us through this period. There was a time when those around us would have wondered what sin in our lives had caused all this to happen. Not these people. They have been gracious, loving, accepting, and giving – everything we are called to be as Christians. Lest you think all of this has diluted the spiritual side, think again. They have been our constant encouragers, making sure we are in the Word and in prayer. If you need a church home in Franklin, ask me about it.
  • I have been blessed with time. From house projects, to a summer (and now a fall break) with my wife and kids, I have had time that I would not have had if I was working. I have even had the opportunity to teach the aforementioned small group, something I love to do. While I am surprised by how fast this time is going, and I’m sure I will wish I had done more, I am so thankful for the time to focus on other things.
  • I have re-established, strengthened, or made new relationships.  They say 70% of people find jobs through networking. I have been doing a lot of that, and it’s been great. Many of these people are very well-connected and influential people in the publishing industry and, no matter what happens in the future, I will be able to count them as personal contacts.
  • My faith is so much stronger. I have no idea what the future holds. At times it scares me (especially as it gets harder and harder to pay bills). But this I do know, now more than ever, God will never leave me nor forsake me. We watched the movie “The Hiding Place” recently, and Betsie Ten Boom said it best, “There is no pit so deep, that God is not deeper still.”

There are more lessons, and more to come I’m sure. I’m ready and open to learn them. While I have these dark feelings, they are also accompanied by an undercurrent of anticipation. I know something amazing is going to happen. I don’t know when, or how, but I KNOW it. I don’t have to guess. All I have to do is wait. And sometimes that is the hardest thing to do.

Finally, I must give credit where credit is due. I have had this blog post in my head for some time, but haven’t taken the time to write it out. Lindsey Nobles (a former Nelson co-worker) had the courage to write this post on her blog that inspired me to finally get my post out of my head. Thanks, Lindsey.

  • karenmoore74

    Scott,
    Though I’m working part time and in an incredible place here in Costa Rica, I still echo many of the sentiments expressed here. If it weren’t for the friends who keep rooting for me, turning on the light for me and reminding me that there really is something AMAZING and wonderful yet to come, I’m not sure how well I’d be doing. Likewise on the blog writing…I’m finally getting my voice to echo with others who have so much to share. Blessings to you always. Karen

  • lindseyreadenobles

    Scott,
    This is a great post. I appreciate you sharing these thoughts. We can all identify.
    Lindse7

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